The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) temporarily stopped giving the remaining AstraZeneca vaccines to individuals aged 59 and under.
This is due to reports that it allegedly causes a rare blood clot in some vaccinated in Europe.
According to FDA Director General Eric Domingo, they are now just waiting for clearer evidence and guidance from the World Health Organization before re -using it.
“Nakita ng European Medicines Agency ay mayroong very, very rare ‘no, kasi out of 200 million na mga nabakunahan ng AstraZeneca, mayroon pong parang mga 16 cases na tinitingnan nila na possible connected nga po noong blood clotting saka iyong pagbaba po ng platelet,” said Domingo.
“Tsinek ko po sa ating National Adverse Events Following Immunization Committee, wala naman daw po tayong kaso nari-report na ganito, na pagbaba ng platelet at saka po thrombosis dito sa atin,” he added.
He said there has never been a similar incident in the country.
The FDA insists this does not mean that AstraZeneca vaccine is not safe or ineffective.
FDA halts giving AstraZeneca vaccine to those 59 and below
He said the government is only taking precautions to ensure the safety of vaccine recipients.
AstraZeneca is one of the vaccines with emergency use authorization – a requirement for use in the country.
Up to 1 million AstraZeneca vaccines are expected to arrive in the country this 2nd quarter of the year.
AstraZeneca was then only used by senior citizens aged 60 and over. But because of its limited supply, the FDA has approved the use of the Sinovac vaccine in seniors despite the lack of evidence that it is effective in the elderly.
Some experts have warned that Sinovac should not be used on seniors with serious illness.
Domingo said the test will be completed before the injection of the 2nd dose of AstraZeneca is scheduled.
According to the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), the time has come for more vaccines in the country to allow local governments in Metro Manila to vaccinate about 120,000 Filipinos every day.